Cars

Cars with a Hive Mind: Automobiles in the Age of Internet of Things

IoT-connected cars

“Internet of things” is the next big thing and funds are being funnelled into it on an increasing basis. The automobile industry is no exception, due to the huge amount of interest in IoT-connected cars.

The automobile manufacturers have identified an emerging trend and a great opportunity for traction in interconnecting commercial car fleet. That’s right: it’s not just cars but also other mass rapid public transportation like buses and trains that has piqued interest.

For the IoT industry, connected cars will prove not just to be their bread and butter, but even their PBJ. Here’s how IoT is projected to emerge in the coming decade.

IoT-connected cars

Image by Ericsson

Today’s Connected Cars

Thanks to IoT, there has been a boom in connected cars and vehicles in the last few years. There are two main ways manufacturers are connecting their cars:

  1. Tethered
  2. Embedded

Embedded cars utilize an  antenna of sorts and a chipset.

Tethered cars utilize hardware systems to enable drivers to get connected to their cars, ie connecting via their phones.

Built-in GPS has become moot, and app-based services like Google Maps and other tools for navigation are quickly replacing GPS built-ins. Innovative apps like Gasbuddy indicate where the next gas station is located,   gas prices, and other products available for purchase in those stations. Music apps have already replaced the need for FM radio.

The first part of Tesla’s master plan, as outlined by its CEO, is perhaps the most important. This involves solar-roofed electric cars that would be 10 times safer than driving manually and will implement car-sharing, which would allow the owners of Tesla to earn some extra cash by renting out their cars.

The second part of the plan is “stop and go” mode, which allows the vehicle to analyse the traffic patterns that lie ahead and to navigate accordingly. The next part would be the tricky one: using a smartphone to park the car without any manual input from the driver.  The third step is lane-changing technology.

The genuinely exciting stage would be the fourth one, where the driver of the vehicle has an option to quit driving and have the car drive itself while the driver stays behind the wheel. Remember that scene from “I, Robot”? Yeah, it would be that cool!.

The fifth step would be to go totally driverless; this would be truly a step into the future. “Minority Report,” anyone? It is expected that driverless cars will reach the market by 2020.

The Power of Connectivity

There are several reasons connectivity needs to be put in place. Updates in car software would be greatly enhanced by increased internet connectivity. Secondly, auto manufacturers can use the valuable data gathered to analyze performance statistics and improve the efficiency of the vehicle by virtue of real-time feedback.

In this connected-car boom, several companies may profit. There many be no clear winner, but the momentum is there. According to a survey by KPMG, BMW is heading the pack, with Daimler-Chrysler at a close second.

Texting while driving in today’s atmosphere can lead to numerous accidents. Connected car technology can greatly reduce these accidents by allowing the driver to maintain their control on the road while still being able to communicate.

Consumer interest in this has been growing by leaps and bounds. According to Google Trends the keyword “connected cars” keeps increasing in hits every month. Estimates say the in-car infotainment industry is bound to make as much as fifteen billion dollars in sales after 2020, starting from seven billion dollars this year alone.

The Internet of Things has been taking an ever more prominent place, and with the advent of connected car technology it will hold an indispensable place in our everyday lives a few years down the road. This is not just in one area; it can have a myriad of applications with dependent and connected technology. We can only wait and see how it unfolds for the common customer.

About the author

Anees Saddique

Anees is full time blogger, writer and consultant provides tips, guides and articles related to lifestyle, tech, social media and business!

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